Teaching golf is often a rush. Helping a person improve their golf skills is very satisfying. That said many times a golf instructor becomes much more to a student than simply a person imparting golf knowledge.
A few months back I spent a session with a junior player. Our time together was enjoyable. He was very talented and, for a young playe, it was clear he was passionate abut his game.
Not long after our time together his father sent me a long email explaining their family had gone through a terrible tragedy a few months prior to our time together. Life for his son, on and off the golf course, had become a struggle. The golf course had become a kind of a sanctuary for this young man. His short game, however, had become such a problem and his golf was tugging his attitude down even further.
This email from the father was both personal and sincere. They had allowed me into their lives. The email also shared with me that his son had had so much fun that he and his wife were encouraged to see a spirit of hope come back into their child.
It has been such a blessing to me for us to have kept in touch these past few months. They were able to share that school and life had become lighter for their son and healing from their tragedy was unfolding.
This summer we got together for a couple more sessions. I received an email at the end of the summer about this young man winning a tournament. What a thrill for him, and for me to hear about it. The father got back to me that his son was also excited to hear a congrats from me about his win.
We all have an influence on the people we encounter. It is an honor to realize sometimes there are positive effects much greater than golf improvement between a teacher and the student. Golf may be considered an individual sport, but the relationships of golf are compelling.
Let’s be aware of the uniqueness of this great sport of golf in that it facilitates time to nurture relationships and influence.